Reconciling practice and paper

Paul Boughton

Practice versus paper is an age-old issue facing those in the asset management arena. In most cases, maintenance practitioners who are assigned to executing the actual asset management tasks do not appreciate the paper that they are presented with. On the other hand, those in control are attempting to improve the effectiveness of the practitioner by prescribing how they should do things and these are prescriptions in the form of paper or an electronic equivalent.

Worldwide there is an explosion of software applications and many industries are being transformed by this trend. This is true of asset management as well. Many benefits are being achieved but the practice versus paper issue has not abated. Therefore the challenge is to provide software applications that make life easier for those who have to execute the tasks. If this is not the case, they will simply ignore what they are presented with and continue to do things the way they have always done them. Naturally most of what they have been doing has been based on their personal intuition and experience.

The solution to this issue

Radiant Operations International (Radiant) operates in the asset management arena and is acutely aware of the dilemma described above. This is because the company has had many years of hands-on practical experience in asset management. From this experience Radiant has formulated an asset management philosophy that bears the name Impact Driven Asset Management (IDAM). This concept is designed to hone into the most crucial issues very quickly and provide comprehensive, practical solutions to the asset management issue. It also provides a sound foundation for further development of an asset management program and strategy. The beauty of the philosophy is that it resonates with the practical people. They recognise the roots of the philosophy and can relate to its practical nature.

However, the reality of the demands placed on modern assets is that one cannot remain at a level where intuition alone is adequate. The call for greater accuracy and precision cannot be ignored and inevitably a journey is started toward a more systematic approach. This generally involves using standard software packages such as Excel and Visio in the attempt to automate the complex asset management approach. Unfortunately the inadequacies of these tools for this situation soon become apparent and the search for suitable software becomes a prime focus.

Radiant has travelled this road; hence the connection with DesSoft, a professional software development house. Together a software application known as DRIVE has been developed. DRIVE is a tool that is designed to develop an asset management programme as well as to administer it.


In essence the issue of practice versus paper is not one of ‘either or’, but rather of ‘both. Each component is necessary but they should complement one another rather than being at odds with each other. IDAM and DRIVE help reconcile these approaches.

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Roald Rodseth is with Radiant Operations International in South Africa. 

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